Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

What just happened?

Monday, July 4 2016

Well, each time you think you can read Australia……

The election has come and gone and yet we won’t know a result for a few days yet.

What does it all mean?

I think I will leave that to the many political experts who will have the time of their lives interpreting the messaging and predicting a likely outcome.

As one of the drivers was to clean up the Senate for more effective government, it is fair to say be careful what you wish for. It does though appear that citizens do not seem to think political leaders are discussing the issues that matter to them.

So what of Tertiary Education?

It is hard to see that there is a clear way ahead so in that sense nothing has changed.

I do believe that leaves it to us.

The industry is best placed to grab the issue of Tertiary Education and develop the solution. When I discuss a forward agenda with industry bodies, providers, TAFE directors and even students we are all pretty much compliant with the 90/10 rule. Regardless of the issue, be it quality, contestability, ethics or student support we all are driven by the same principles.

Perhaps the only ones that are more driven by ideology and not outcomes are the political parties themselves.

The notion of a broad industry ‘think tank’ where we lock ourselves away and redesign our future I do find attractive indeed. I worry though that we are all too busy to do it.

Or do we wait a few more years……

Interesting indeed!

The one constant perhaps is that the sector will remain in a state of flux.

If industry is to play a crucial role in leading the next element of educational reform,  it is imperative that we put in place leadership that can do the job.

In that regard it gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Kit McMahon as the Chief Operating Officer for ACPET.

Many of you know that Kit has worked in a range of leadership positions in education and training for over a decade.

Kit was formerly the General Manager and Acting CEO of Service Skills Australia where she was responsible for some $25million of expenditure to realise national workforce development and planning priorities for the Sport and Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality, Retail and Personal Services industries.

Kit led key national strategic initiatives to improve productivity in the service sectors including developing workforce development strategies for the sport and recreation sector; developing new models of recognising volunteer skills; collaborating across VET and Higher Education to build a unique cadetship program for Retail and designing and implementing a business focused workforce capability program for the Tourism industry.   Her role at Service Skills Australia also saw her lead the production of a range of research projects into skills and workforce capacity that significantly contributed to national policy debate.

In her current role, Kit is the CEO and Company Secretary for Girl Guides Australia.  In this role Kit has championed the education for girls and women. Since 2013 Kit has lead the review and implementation of the current national strategic plan, including introducing of a number of key programs for girls and young women.  With Girl Guides, Kit led a range of policy reforms across the movement to improve organisational governance, marketing, finances as well as improve the recognition and support for volunteers and create greater and more diverse opportunities for girls to participate and grow from this incredible movement.

Her knowledge and commitment to ethics and the importance of culture will ensure she can play a leading role in the debate ahead.

It promises to be an interesting week.

Rod Camm


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